After 10 years, the international war crimes court at The Hague issued its first ruling Wednesday, convicting a Congolese warlord of deploying child soldiers during the Democratic Republic of Congo’s long bloody conflict. The International Criminal Court (ICC) charged Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, 51, with three counts of war crimes. Now he faces the possibility of life in prison. “The chamber concludes that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years,” ICC Presiding Judge Adrian Fulford said as he read the judgment issued by the three-judge panel, Reuters reports. Lubanga “was essential to a common plan to conscript and enlist girls and boys below the age of 15.”
Lubanga may appeal the conviction within 30 days.